Banff Itinerary Help

Old Jan 7th, 2009, 07:17 AM
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Banff Itinerary Help

My husband and I are finally heading to Banff! We are flying into Calgary very late on 5/13, leaving very early on 5/20. I'm hoping to get advice on hotels close to the airport for post/pre flight stays. I see that there is a hotel in the airport but wonder if there is a cheaper option that we should consider.

Our plan is to head toward Banff on 5/14. Should we stay in Banff the whole time or spend a few nights in the Lake Louise area? Any recommendations on hotels are welcome.

Thanks all for your help!
c_swife is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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I use www.kayak.com to search for hotels. You should get some good rates that time of year.

The Sandman Hotel Calgary Airport is very nice. We got a good rate with them from skoosh (better than the hotel website)Found them using Kayak.

Be sure to plan for cool weather. I have not visited that time of year so others will give you better advice. The lakes may possibly not all be thawed by then. I think the road to Moraine Lake is open.

I would stay 3 nights in Banff or Lake Louise and then drive to Jasper for 2 nights. The drive up the Icefields Parkway is spectacular and we do enjoy Jasper. You may opt to stay the whole time in the Banff/Lake Louise area. There is enough there to keep you busy for a week.

Lots of lovely places to stay. We enjoyed Paradise Lodge in LL. You may even find some good rates that time of year at the Fairmont hotels.

Click on my name for our trip report. Several trails we hiked won't be open that early. You will still be in awe of the magnificent beauty of the area.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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ditto Linda

I went between Christmas and New Years last year, and while the scenery will be different, it was hands down one of the most beautiful places I've been to.

I highly recommend Banff, and Jasper, and Lake Louise.

I am not familiar with any hotels close to the airports, so I'm sorry I can't help you there.

Enjoy your stay!
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 09:19 PM
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Friday, May 15 through Monday, the 18th is the Victoria Day holiday weekend in Canada - be sure to book well in advance as the resorts will be very busy that weekend. That weekend is unofficially considered the start of the summer tourist season in the Rockies.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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I live in Alberta and have been to Banff countless times and I would say definitely book in advance in Banff for that weekend - as the previous poster said, that is Victoria Day long weekend and it will be busy. For 5 nights I would stay the whole time in either Banff or Lake Louise, not split. They are so close together and I don't think it would be a valuable use of your time to spend half a day changing hotels.

If you want more of a town feel, stay in Banff - it's very picturesque, but more crowded than Lake Louise with more shopping, restaurants etc. If you prefer something more quiet, stay outside Banff or in Lake Louise. Both are lovely though.

Have a fantastic time in Banff - I am biased of course because of growing up close by, but it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Try the Country Inn and Suites at Calgary Airport.

My recollection is that it's just off the airport and not very far from the TransCanadian Highway (Highway 1), which should take you to Banff.

http://www.countryinns.com/calgaryab
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 04:14 AM
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Wow! Thanks to all of your for your advice. Here's what I'm currently thinking:

Fly into Calgary late on 5/13. Stay at Sandman Airport (thanks Linda!)

5/14: Drive toward Jasper; focus on visiting Icefields Parkway

We're considering the Fairmont in Jasper for 2 nights but would welcome any hotel advice.

5/16: Drive toward Lake Louise. Stay the night at Emerald Lake Lodge

5/17: Move to Banff for three night stay at Buffalo Mountain Lodge.

5/20: sadly head to the airport for 8am flight.

Obviously we have a lot of work to do to fill in the blanks with hikes and siteseeing but, since this is a holiday weekend, I'm focused right now on getting the hotels booked. (thanks krp329 and Amanda23 for telling me about Victoria Day!)

I welcome any critiques on the itinerary about and any advice on hotels, hikes, siteseeing along the way.

Thanks again for the awesome advice! I'm certain that you all are helping to make this a fabulous trip!
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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Emerald Lake Lodge is one of my favorite places to stay but if you stay there, I think you should stay 2 nights or perhaps, not stay there at all and just head into Banff and not have to change hotels again. The setting of Emerald Lake is spectacular.

The drive down from Jasper will take most of the day, with stops, and then ELL is about 30 minutes past Lake Louise. You would not have much time there.

You may also want to check out bidding on Luxury Link for some of these properties. I have seen them there. Call the property and make sure they have availability on the day you wish to stay. I have also seen Cathedral Mountain Lodge offered on Luxury Link. The cabins look lovely--they are located out by Emerald Lake.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 12:19 PM
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